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Lyon move four points clear, Marseille move up to third

Latest update : 2009-02-15

Seven-times champions Lyon defeated last-place Le Havre 3-1 in a game marred by racist insults to keep its four-point lead at the top of the French league. Olympique Marseille grab a 1-0 win at Monaco to move up to third.

REUTERS - Olympique Lyon tightened their grip at the top of Ligue 1 with a 3-1 home victory over bottom club Le Havre in a game marred by racist insults on Sunday.

A Le Havre fan has been arrested by police for shouting racist insults to Ghana defender John Mensah, who was sent off for two bookable offences in the second half, said Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

"Around the 55th minute, a so-called Le Havre fan has been arrested by police because he had been shouting racist insults to John Mensah," Aulas told reporters."
The incident did not prevent seven-times champions Lyon from grabbing an easy win and they are now on 49 points after 24 matches, leading second-placed Paris St Germain by four points after the capital side beat St Etienne 2-1 on Saturday.

On Sunday, a Bakari Kone second-half goal helped Olympique Marseille grab a 1-0 win at neighbours Monaco to move up to third on 44 points.

Marseille lead Toulouse on goal difference after the southwestern side beat strugglers Sochaux 2-1 away courtesy of Andre-Pierre Gignac's 15th goal of the season.

Lyon got off to a sluggish start at Gerland stadium but Brazilian midfielder Ederson broke the deadlock when he flicked the ball past Le Havre keeper Christophe Revault in the 34th minute.

Ivory Coast striker Abdul Kader Keita doubled the tally with a cool finish a minute before halftime.

Juninho made it three 16 minutes from the end with a 35-metre free kick as Lyon claimed their first home league win in three months.

Le Havre, who scored a consolation goal through Loic Nestor, remain on 15 points, nine points from safety with 14 games remaining.

At Sochaux, Toulouse were rescued by Ligue 1 top scorer Gignac, who hit the winner from a tight angle in the 65th minute, after a Jacques Faty own goal had cancelled out Rabiu Afolabi's opener for the home side.

In the day's late kickoff, Marseille eventually prevailed in a dull game at Monaco, with Kone lobbing home side keeper Stephane Ruffier in the 77th minute.

Date created : 2009-02-15